Thursday 29 May 2014


Once again, let me draw your attention to the fantastic Breathing In Fumes podcast, the only Depeche Mode podcast you'll need. Each episode host Glen Hammarstrom (Glen_101 on Twitter) puts together a show made up of rare Depeche tracks, live tracks, remixes and much more. It's 100% free to get so there is no reason not to go and get it now. As you'll see it features two support acts from legendary DM shows - OMD from the Rose Bowl and Electronic from Dodgers' Stadium in 1990. Very cool.  Links below

Tracklist for BIF 15
Interview from 120 Minutes, Crystal Palace 1993
I Feel You (Live from Crystal Palace 31/7/93)
Black Celebration (Live Birmingham NEC 10/4/86)
Artisan News - The Remixes 81-11
Personal Jesus (Alex Metric Remix)
Suffer Well (M83 Remix)
Interview - Dave loves Porsche
Nothing's Impossible (Demo)
Heaven (Justin Warfield Remix)
Dave Gahan - Bottle Living (Machine Head Lyric Remix)
OMD - Secret (Live Rose Bowl, Pasadena CA - 18/6/88)
Electronic - Patience Of A Saint (Live Los Angeles CA 5/8/90)

Breathing In Fumes Twitter

I should also add that Glen has started a Breathing in Fumes blog that will contain all manner of Depeche related stuff. It is, of course, well worth a read. Well, once you've read my blog anyway ;)

Wednesday 21 May 2014


Wow. My ears are still vibrating. That was one of the best, loudest and most intense concerts I have ever been to. I'd never seen Nine Inch Nails before last night and the sheer bloody marvellousness of it all transported me back to my teenage/Uni borderline goth years which was a joyous thing. Support came from Cold Cave who did a good job of warming up the crowd who were already hungry for NIN. They played a mix of their newer tracks from Full Cold Moon and older stuff including one or two from the excellent Cherish The Light Years and didn't seem out of place in such a large venue. There are echoes of classic era New Order, Depeche Mode and even Erasure in their music which is no bad thing. Trust me on the Erasure reference - my mate John who was with me is something of an expert in that field. Wesley even name checked Mono in Glasgow as being his favourite restaurant so they couldn't fail to impress the home crowd.

Picture courtesy of Stephanie Gerber @StephaneeGerber

Nine Inch Nails came on to a mix of Pinion and The Eater of Dreams before appearing onstage like a terrifying, musclebound version of Kraftwerk and blasting through Me,I'm Not and Copy Of A. For the next two hours there was an aural and visual onslaught the sheer power of which is impossible to accurately convey in words. Once the synths were removed the live drums and guitars kicked in and gave new life to songs that were already pretty lively in the first place. Kudos especially to Ilan Rubin who among other things plays the drums like no other person on earth has before.

Nine Inch Nails - Gave Up (live Glasgow 20 May 2014)
We were treated to what you might call the band's greatest hits. March Of The Pigs nearly blew the roof off the Hydro and, when that was followed by an onimous version of Piggy, it dawned on me that I was watching tracks from The Downward Spiral being played live and that very nearly blew my brain. The Downward Spiral and Broken are two of my favourite albums of all time and seeing large chunks of them live for the first time ever was quite remarkable. Every song the band played added a new high to the night which, for me, peaked with an explosive version of my favourite NIN track, Wish. Absolutely remarkable. The versions of Eraser, Came Back Haunted and Head Like A Hole were out of this world too.

Trent Reznor really is a captivating frontman, He prowls the stage jumping around from scary sounding synths, to treated guitars and even to a piano solo on The Frail and never once do you take your eyes off him. This is a unique band and they deserve far more praise than they will ever get. It was as powerful as any gig I have ever been to and I really hope I get the chance to see them again. If you get an opportunity go and see them as soon as you can. 

Setlist: Pinion/The Eater of Dreams, Me I'm Not, Copy of A, 1000000, March Of The Pigs, Piggy, The Frail, The Wretched, Gave Up, Sanctified, Closer, The Warning, Find My Way, Disappointed, Came Back Haunted, The Great Destroyer, Eraser, Wish, Only, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole (ENCORE) The Day The World Went Away, Hurt

Sunday 18 May 2014

REVIEW - MACHINES IN HEAVEN 10 May 2014, Electropolis at The Art School, Glasgow

Electropolis is a night that is regularly put on at the Art School in Glasgow that promises to showcase  the finest up and coming Scottish electronica nights and so it was inevitably a good thing that the Electropolis night on 10 May was headlined by blog favourites Machines In Heaven.

After some great support from the bands above plus special guest Loki, Machines took to the stage and played a set heavy on debut album bordersbreakdown, but one which delighted and surprised both with the way the album tracks sounded and with the way the new track, Taxpayers' Compass, showed a definite progression from the tracks everyone should already be familiar with.

Machines In Heaven, live at The Art School Glasgow 10 May 2014

The whole set was great and I was taken with the way the bordersbreakdown tracks have developed their own life live. On the album their electronic influence comes across, whilst live they develop a power of their own, reminiscent in places of the Pixies or My Bloody Valentine. There are moments of spine tingling majesty in songs like The Eternal Now or Remembrance that set this band above others on the live scene at the moment. Like I have said many times before, you owe it to yourself to check Machines out. When Taxpayers' Compass was played, I could easily have been back in the big top at the Radiohead gigs on Glasgow Green in 2001 - it's of that standard. This is impressive music. Keep an eye out for any Machines In Heaven gigs in your area. You MUST see them.

Setlist: We Fall/The National Monument/Parliament Is Made Of Rice Paper/Mumbo Jingo/Remembrance/The Eternal/Taxpayers' Compass/bordersbreakdown

Stream debut album bordersbreakdown here

Machines In Heaven Facebook

Thursday 8 May 2014


There has been a spate of great new singles released by a few excellent Scottish bands recently, so to help you navigate your way to them, I thought I'd do a Singles Review section rather than the usual thing focusing on one band only. So here we go.

Tuff Love are a Glasgow based three piece who make summery sounding almost lo fi in places guitar pop that instantly catches and burrows into your brain from where you'll struggle to remove it. Imagine if the Pixies had let Kim Deal sing more or if REM had managed to fuse the jangle of their Fables era to the amps they discovered they had around Monster time and you'll get part of the story here. All 5 songs on this e.p. are wroth your time. This is a hugely promising debut release and whats more it's available on a rather lovely 10" white vinyl from the marvellous Lost Map records.  

Lost Map band page

Campfires In Winter are one of the most exciting bands around on the Glasgow, or more precisely Croy, scene at the moment. Their new single We'll Exist is an absolute cracker and, frankly, you're letting yourself down if you don't get it. I heard it live a few weeks ago at the Call To Mind album release show and loved it from the off. It is an example of the power and just general genius of Campfires In Winter and from May 12th you can own it. Here's the video in the meantime

Campfires In Winter webiste

It's lucky people don't copy songs onto tape anymore (ask your parents) as writing that on an inlay card would be a nightmare. Thankfully, that's the only quibble I have with this single which is another first class release from Friends In America. Carrying on from their impressive debut album What It Is To Be, the band again show why they are one to watch with another fantastic combination of guitar pop and thought provoking lyrics. The single release party is on 15 May at Nice N Sleazy's and you can get tickets and the single form the link below

Prehistoric Friends  first came to my attention at the Call To Mind album release show and I was impressed from the off. Their debut single Bermuda Triangle was one of the highlights of an excellent set and you can watch the video, which is currently streaming on The Skinny, below. The band are an intriguing mix of synth pop, lo fi and much more and you should really investigate them.

So there you are. Four Scottish bands, four new things for you to get. Do try and check them all out